Summary: A sermon for the 4th Sunday after Easter
4th Sunday of Easter
John 10: 22-30
"Jesus, the Son of God"
"It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:22-30, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the risen Christ. Amen
At first glance, our gospel lesson this morning seems out of place. This story takes place before the events of the Passion week, before Jesus’ death on the cross, before his resurrection. As a matter of fact, the events in this story lead to the events of the past several weeks. So why has this text been placed for us to study this fourth Sunday of Easter?
The last three Sundays we have been looking at the texts that tell us Jesus has risen. We have seen him appear to Thomas, we have seen him appear the people in the upper room, we have seen him appear to the disciples as he made them breakfast on the shore of the lake. The last three Sundays, we have seen that Jesus has indeed risen. We have seen that the promise he made in three days he would rise had come true. The physical fact of the resurrection has been demonstrate very clearly these last Sundays.
Today we see who Jesus is, the Son of God, the Good Shepherd. today, our scripture tells us that Jesus and the Father are one. Today, we see who Jesus is beyond the resurrection, we see Him as the Son of God.
Our text begins as Jesus is walking in the portico of Solomon in the temple in Jerusalem. It was a cold day as John says it was winter. Winter in Jesus’ day meant that the wind came in from the east and it was raw and cold. He was walking in the part of the temple that was enclosed which sheltered him from the raw east wind. As he walked, prayed and meditated, a group of Jews came to him and asked him, "how long will he keep them in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life.
Jesus tells the Jews that he is the Christ, the Messiah. He tells them that he has told them over and over again who he is, but they will not believe. He speaks, but they do not hear.
Jesus wants us to hear his words, he wants us to understand who he is for our lives. He wants us to know and believe that he is our shepherd and we are his sheep. He wants us to follow his voice, he wants us to hear his words of peace and comfort for our lives. But sometimes you and I have a difficult time hearing. We are like the dear old lady in the following story:
A elderly lady whose hearing had largely failed experienced much difficulty understanding what was being said to her. Persons trying to communicate would draw close and shout loudly. They would cup their hands and scream into her ears. And even with all of this, the dear old one would often shake her head and sighed that she was unable to hear.
But she was married to a kind and patient man with whom she had shared love and life for more than 60 years. It was strange to many that she could hear him when she was able to hear no one else. He would take her frail hand in his, look deeply into her eyes, and speak distinctly in a tone which seemed only a trifle louder than normal. And the wife he loved always heard and understood.